This is a John Denver tribute album chock full of amazing artists’ new interpretations of Denver’s beloved songs. These covers are mostly very well-done; the good tracks are fantastic, but the few not-so-good covers are pretty sub-par. Amos Lee’s Some Days Are Diamonds is my favorite; his tribute to his personal songwriting hero is heartfelt and genuine. Annie’s Song is a great indie track. The Bluegrass breakdown of Take Me Home is awesome. Final word: Yes. Yes. Yes. This album is golden. I highly recommend it. – Austin Lyons, 4/2/13
That’s right. 25 tracks. TMBG make the most of this, their sixteenth album. They’re back to making adult alternative music with their characteristic goofiness, but the silliness of their music seems to have been amplified by their time with children’s music. Their sound is great and original, as always; despite celebrating their 31st year together, TMBG comes through with another fantastic and very new album. It holds that characteristic 90′s alt sound (‘Circular Karate Chop’), but simultaneously reflects the recent trend toward indie and folk music (‘Black Ops’). 9 of this album’s 25 songs are small clips under 1 minute in length.
Mr. Nathan Williams has done it again. Wavves managed to create an increasingly clean, accessible sound while still proving to all of us that he does not give a shite. If you are used to Wavves’ poppy surf punk this album should not offer too many surprises, but some songs trade in their fuzz for good acoustic vibes (“Dog”) and it still works. You could even describe some of these tunes (“Everything Is My Fault”) as ambitious, which seems kind of rare for Wavves. Some highlights include single “Demon To Lean On” and “Paranoid.” All of it is pretty decent though.
P. Miller 04/13
Nashville natives Sammy Mitchell and Jon Marc Winchester make some serious noise on their debut EP. Black Sea Royalty’s sound, falling between traditional hard rock and mid-2000s alt-rock is both rough enough to appeal to Nashville’s underground music scene and accessible enough to find success in a general musical atmosphere. The duo does a killer job of writing, performing, mixing, and producing this EP, and their work shows. “Salvatore” is my personal favorite, but every song is good in its own right. -Austin Lyons 3/7/13 -
Master spinner DJ Kentaro mixes one part two-step, one part DNB, one part hip-hop, and two parts electro in his fourth album under Ninja Tune. This mix is high-tempo, head-banging goodness, with “Kikkake” and “North South East West” rising above the rest in terms of the number of times I pulled an important muscle. Contrast is deep and progressive, futuristic and “Lapis Lazuli” interrupts the madness with a just beautiful, 100-feet underground groove. “Higher” features some lip=biting UK rap, “Big Timer” and “Fire is On”. Yup, this genre puts out more of the same each year, and while this album is superficially different, it is a also a very dense symposium of what we expect. Recommended for bassheads only (hip-hop enthusiasts, beware).
- Will Doran 4/18/13
THe WHITE half of Anderson East’s debut double album reveals the Nashvillian’s love of Soul music and poetic lyrics. Seriously, this guy could be a Blue Note artist with Norah Jones and Amos Lee. WHITE was created in studios and labs from Los Angeles to New York to Nashville, and the album has a “traveling” feel.
Nashvillian Anderson East channels Ray Lamontagne on the second half of his debut double album. RED, while not totally different from WHITE, explores the melancholy side of East’s singer/songwriter music. It’s hard to decide which half is stronger, it really is. This is much sadder music than that on WHITE, but it’s very very beautiful. Recorded entirely in Nashville.
Final Word: Anderson East is a total boss. He’s my favorite local artist, and he’s gonna be famous son. East is an incredibly talented Nashvillian singer/songwriter capable of churning out any type of music.
Austin Lyons, 3/10/13
FIDLAR stands for something we can’t say on the radio, but their music deserves to be played. This SoCal punk band runs on catchy vocals and riffs, muscular production, a slight surf rock influence, and debauchery. When these songs aren’t heavy, they’re catchy and carefree. Their sound is also massive for a home-recorded punk band, and it really separates them from their lo-fi peers. These songs have that incredible primal energy in spades, even the sunnier ones. It makes you want to raise a fist in the air and move around spastically without care for your surroundings. And who doesn’t want that? This is a must for punk fans and would work very well with a lot of local garage rock and punk in local rotation.
RIYL: The Black Lips, The Reatards, Punk/garage rock in general
-Nick Kline, 1/24/13
Being a fan of both artists separately, I expected to love this album. While I do like it, it feels like it’s missing some of the magic that these two produce individually. They originally intended their collaboration to last only for a live performance. The venue lacked a sound system, so St. Vincent suggested adding a brass band, the two realized they could compose original music with the band, and the result is Love this Giant. The two appeared on The Colbert Report, where they mentioned that they mostly worked via email, which I don’t get since they both live in Manhattan, but I think that can account for some of the missing magic. As negative as this review may sound, this really is a good album. It’s funky and creative, and it’ll definitely spice up your playlist.